Committee

Acting Chair - Ruth Bushell

I began running in 2015 when, at the age of 50, I’d just completed a degree and was feeling more confident that, although ‘old’, I could still achieve new things in life! I’d enjoyed running at school but when I left to start my nurse training, I never gave running another thought and did no regular exercise for most of my adult life. 

I started running on my own as a way of losing weight but soon found other benefits like meeting new people and the positive effect on my mental health. I found it a fantastic way to reduce stress levels and it definitely helped my anxiety and depression. 

I  joined BVR in 2018, when I moved to Bovey and have found it one of the most positive things in my life. I have made good friends through it, become healthier and fitter and enjoyed mini running adventures and exploring new parts of the county. 

I love trail runs, exploring Dartmoor and social runs and am looking forward to being part of the committee and supporting the work of BVR as I feel it has a really important role to play in this community. 

Treasurer - Jill Bishop

Hi. I’m Jill, now retired and able to offer some time to the club so I have taken on the role of Treasurer for the Bovey Valley Runners.

My running journey started when I woke up on my 57th birthday and decided I needed a new challenge. Having never run before (and being told at school that I’d never make a runner) this was massive for me.

I was on holiday at the time, I left my husband napping in the afternoon and went for a run/ walk along the seafront (running when someone passed me and walking when no one was looking). When I got home I continued with my run/ walk regime until I could run 2 miles without walking.

A friend advised me to join a ladies social running group which I did in late 2015. I enjoyed running with others so much more. I did my first 10k that year and the following year my first half marathon. My next challenge was to complete a marathon before the age of 60. Having not been successful in the London Marathon ballot I decided to run York Marathon in 2017, this was amazing and I spent 2 weeks after on a “runners high”.

Since then I’ve completed a couple more marathons and 3 ultras over 24 hours. My favourite distance is a half marathon because I’m not a fast runner, I prefer distance over speed.

Since retirement I have completed a few courses in fitness and running leadership mainly for my own self development and interest.

I joined BVR between Covid 19 lockdowns when I moved to Bovey Tracey. I immediately felt welcomed by run leaders and fellow runners alike. I especially liked the fact that I could run in a group with others of a similar pace to me.

Since joining I have also become a volunteer run leader. I think you could describe me as a running addict.

Rob White

Hi, I’m Rob and have been with BVR since Sept 2018.

As a young lad I was never a runner and it wasn’t until I started to take my daughter to the Parke Parkrun that I considered having a go.

I used the Cto5K to start, but didn’t get that far so went straight into the Parkruns in 2015, but after just a few months an achilles injury stopped me running for a year. But since then I have increased both my number and distance of runs.

We are blessed with having some fantastic scenery, on the coast and in the moors, so you will often find me plodding up and down the trails in the sunshine and the rain.

BVR is a brilliant all-inclusive group that so encourages people of all abilities to just get out and run, and have fun.

Alice Mann

Hi, I’m Alice, I have been running since 2012, I did my first run and couldn’t walk for a week.
Thankfully, I didn’t listen to my body when it said to not ever do that again and have ran on and off ever since.
 
I have completed one marathon and a few Half’s but the main reason I run is for enjoyment, as long as I get out I don’t mind what pace I go and would always choose running with someone over running on my own.
 
I have always been lucky to find amazing running groups to join, meeting some inspirational people along the way, Bovey Valley Runners is definitely one of the these groups. I am proud to be part of such an inclusive and fun running club.
 
Whether you are a completely new runner in the C25K or running ultra marathons, BVR has a place for everyone and will support you in whatever you want to achieve.

Kirsty Pearce

Hi I’m Kirsty.

I joined BVR back when it began. I had been running a little bit prior to this and could just about run 5k. With the support and encouragement of some of the leaders I moved up to the 10k group (we didn’t have pace groups back then). It nearly killed me! Since then I have completed lots of races including 7 Half Marathons.

BVR has helped me in so many ways. At 53, I am fitter, stronger and lighter than I’ve ever been. I have made so many friends through the club who I run with on club nights but also socially.

I love how inclusive BVR is, supporting runners of all abilities. I wanted to give something back to the club so I became a run leader and now I have joined the committee.

Beccy Kennedy-Bruyneels

Hi, I am Beccy and have newly joined the committee in 2023 as a general committee member. 
 
I joined BVR in 2018 a few months after moving to Bovey Tracey. It helped me settle into the community really quickly as everyone was so friendly and welcoming, I have made many friends. I quite often lead runs on a Wednesday evening for the various different groups, which I think is a great way of meeting and getting to know all of the BVR members.
 
I started running in 2016, it took me a good year to actually enjoy running! Mostly roads to begin with but since joining BVR I have found a love for trail running, I love exploring the area with other BVR members on the many beautiful trails around here. I have only ever run up to half marathon distance, I feel this is enough for me, but we have a wide range of runners in BVR from couch-5k all the way to ultra running.
 
I have found Bovey Valley runners to be an incredibly inclusive club, welcoming all runners of every ability.

Sally Shoolbraid

 
Hi I’m Sally and joined the committee in 2024 as a general member and am so pleased to be part of such a fantastic club.
 

I am a bit of a marathon obsessive (14 and counting) but like many of our members started from scratch in my 50’s – running from lamppost to lamppost and was petrified about joining a club or signing up for an event – but did – and soon running became a really important part of my life.

When moving to Bovey I was so lucky to find such an inclusive club where we welcome everyone – from the Couch to 5K groups to those who tackle the tough trail and ultra events. I have seen the club go from strength to strength over the years and it’s great that the social side is really taking off too. It’s not just about the running – Bovey Valley Runners are a community of really friendly and supportive people. 

I’m very chatty and love to talk to newer runners on our club runs to see how their running is going and just generally enjoy encouraging anyone who is unsure about running further or entering an event –  people just need that boost to their confidence to think they can go for it (as I did) and BVR is there for them. We are all so privileged to be living in such a beautiful part of Devon where any run is surely going to be good for your mental and physical well being!